Thursday, August 6, 2020

Revving up for 'The Motorcycle: Design, Art, Desire' at QAGOMA.

Brisbane Gallery of Modern Art
28 November-26 April, 2021

Featuring over 100 motorcycles from treasures of the past to the electric bikes of the future, this summer exhibition is world exclusive curated by US-based design curator/physicist Professor Charles M. Falco and writer/filmmaker Ultan Guilfoyle in collaboration with Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA).

 Indian Scout Streamliner 1920. Courtesy Clyde Crouch Collection.
Photograph: Robert Laprelle.

The exhibition explores pioneering motorcycles including the steam-powered 1870 Perreaux Vélocipède à vapeur, on loan from Paris, classic commuters, off-road bikes, custom creations and futuristic designs such as the Savic C-Series Alpha 2020 release from Australian Dennis Savic.

Savic 2020. Courtesy Savic Motorcycles.
Photograph: Jason Lau.

QAGOMA Director Chris Saines says, ‘The Motorcycle’ offers multiple interactive experiences for visitors of all ages and it includes a green screen motorcycle riding experience, a motorcycle design studio where you can build and customise your own virtual bike and a mobile companion site to help you navigate 150 years of motorcycle design history and learn the stories behind each of the bikes on display.'

Harley-Davidson Chopper c. 1973 (engine 1941). Private collection, Mackay.
Photograph: Andrew Beavis.

Highlights will include:

A rare 1906 Spencer, one of the very earliest Australian motorcycles designed and manufactured in Auchenflower, Brisbane;

A 1920 Indian Scout “Munro Special” created by the legendary NZ rider Burt Munro;

A 1927 Harley-Davidson FHA 8-valve speedway racer with sidecar;

The 1951 Vincent Black Lightning that set an Australian land speed record in its day and more recently a world record for the highest price paid at auction for a motorcycle;

Impressive speed machines such as a 1916 Indian 8-valve board track racer, a 1974 Ducati 750SS and a 1994 Britten V1000, created by New Zealand design engineer, John Britten;

The 2016 Dakar winning KTM Rally 450 motorcycle ridden by celebrated Australian motorsport champion Toby Price;

Accompanying the exhibition is a major film program screening in the Gallery’s Australian Cinémathèque that includes classics such as The Great Escape 1963 starring Steve McQueen and contemporary interpretations of motorcycle culture captured in films such as Akira 1988, The Motorcycle Diaries 2004 and Finke: There and Back 2018.

‘The Motorcycle’ is accompanied by a hardcover 320 page book co-published with Phaidon. Celebrating the history and future of the motorcycle, the book includes images of the motorcycles featured in the exhibition and essays from the exhibition co-curators. Purchase at GOMA store or online at

Tickets to 'The Motorcycle: Design, Art, Desire' are now on sale at

'The Motorcycle: Design, Art, Desire' is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland and features on the It's Live! in Queensland events calendar.

Source: QAGOMA media news release.

Vespa GS150 1960. Courtesy Vespa House and Frank Tonon.
Photograph: Anne -Marie de Boni.

No comments:

Post a Comment